Creggan vaccine uptake improves as Trust focuses low uptake areas and younger people in Derry

The vaccine uptake at Creggan Central has improved from 36.5 per cent at the start of July to 47.55 per cent, health chiefs have confirmed.

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 9:56 am

Areas where vaccination levels have been low are now being specifically targeted by the Western Trust.

Teresa Molloy, WHSCT Director of Performance and Service Improvement, said that well over 200,000 vaccine doses have now been delivered in the Western Trust.

Yet lower uptake among young people and in some areas has been a concern.

The last first dose of the Pfizer vaccine will be delivered at the Foyle Arena on Saturday.

“There is a big focus now on making sure that in areas which have a low uptake, we make it as easy as possible for people to access vaccination,” she stated. “I think we have a very good news position in the Western Trust area because we’ve been looking at the data by what we call super output areas (SOAs) which are quite small geographical patches, and from the 890 SOAs in NI, the Western Trust have only six in the top 100 of low uptake and 21 in the top 200 of lowest vaccine uptake so I think our strategy of having three centres [including Foyle Arena] appears, at least from those figures, to have been very successful and we are seeing that this is improving in the areas of lower uptake.

“We’ve done clinics. Particularly the Creggan clinic has moved from an uptake of 36 per cent, up to over 47 per cent. This data is changing, every day as we go through these programmes but just to say we have a very, very keen focus and will have during August to ensure we have very good access to where there is low uptake,” she said.

On Saturday the last first dose of Pfizer was delivered at Foyle Arena. “What we were finding was that the number of first doses attending the mass vaccination centres was really tailing off so it really wasn’t achieving a very significant impact of population vaccination. So the mobile programme is really the programme that we are finding has traction now, particularly with the younger age groups.”

Across the north 82 per cent of people have received a first dose vaccination but for the 18 -29 age group that figure is only at 59 per cent and for the 30 to 39 age group it is lagging at 70 per cent.

Dr. Catherine McDonnell, WHSCT Medical Director, said: “There is a slight change in profile in terms of the patients that are coming through to our COVID wards because there is a pattern of younger admissions.”

She added: “It would be fair to say that what we are observing, the patients within our COVID wards and the patients within our ICU, the likelihood of being admitted to hospital is much higher if you haven’t been vaccinated and the likelihood of you moving into intensive care is much higher if you haven’t been vaccinated so that’s the pattern that we are seeing.”